Eleventh in a series on the ‘Now or Never” report of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources (ENEV).
Priority 11 deals with industry growth in terms of new areas of development, specifically northern Canada. With the north, the discussion gets a little more complicated.
There are big issues surrounding the development of the energy industry north of 60. They include environmental protection, ownership of the land and resources, health and safety, investment and responsibility for regulation.
It’s cold up there. The environment is both harsh and delicate. Sovereignty and some land claims are yet to be settled. Emergency response in all seasons needs to be assured. And multiple regulatory authorities are a reality.
But key to this priority is the knowledge that resource development will be the driver that raises economic prospects in the north. Which leads to today’s lesson. Have a look at the challenges that are posed by developing northern Canada. The resources are certainly there, but the infrastructure isn’t yet. Pay attention to the environmental and people issues. The north represents a unique culture and landscape that need to be protected – and at the same time carefully developed.